Seed Distributions for March Madness 2018: A Tool for Bracketologists

Why Pick Favorites?

There is a reason why teams are assigned good seeds: they are good teams. That being said, upsets occur unpredictably, but with regularity. Since 1985, the Pick Favorate strategy of always picking the better seed results in a Final Four of four No. 1 seeds. There are then at most eight ways in which the Final four and national Championship play out. Using the ESPN scoring system, which gives a score of 1920 for a perfect bracket, the following table gives the possible Pick Favorite bracket scores. Using the Pick Favorite strategy typically provides a reasonable bracket. In some year, it has produced a very good bracket. If you want to avoid being at the bottom of your bracket pool, use Pick Favorite to create your bracket.

Year Possible Pick Favorite Bracket Scores (out of 1920)
1985 830, 990
1986 720, 880
1987 790, 950, 1270
1988 810, 970
1989 700
1990 550, 710, 1030
1991 810
1992 740, 900, 1220
1993 940, 1100, 1260, 1420, 1580
1994 730, 890, 1210
1995 780, 940, 1260
1996 870, 1030, 1350
1997 870, 1030
1998 710
1999 720, 880, 1040, 1200, 1360
2000 590, 750, 1070
2001 750, 910, 1230
2002 810, 970, 1290
2003 700
2004 700
2005 680, 840, 1000, 1160, 1320
2006 630
2007 930, 1090, 1250, 1410, 1570
2008 980, 1140, 1300, 1460, 1620
2009 790, 1060, 1380
2010 620, 780, 1100
2011 570
2012 720, 880, 1200
2013 640, 800, 1120
2014 680
2015 890, 1050, 1210, 1370, 1530
2016 710, 870
2017 1140, 1460

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